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OREM — A violent home invasion robbery on July 6 had many Orem residents worried until local police caught the two suspects. With the men wearing masks, the police didn't have much to go on but tracked them down after discovering that both men had been in and out of jail just days prior to the robbery.
The home invasion occurred in the apartment of Michael Mendenhall early in the morning.
"There was a guy with a gun, and he cocked it right next to my head and had the bullet fly out to show me it was real," Mendenhall said. "We kept looking up at them because we didn't know what was going on and they kept pistol-whipping us in the back of the head and asking for our money."
Police have arrested the two men, Jerry Gladney and Brett Dewitt, on charges of aggravated robbery. Sgt. Craig Martinez of the Orem Police Department told how the intruders entered the house.
"It was early in the morning," Martinez said. "The victims were sleeping still, but the door was unlocked."
Gladney is accused of pulling the gun, but Dewitt is the one police say used the knife, nearly cutting off the hand of Mendenhall's roommate as he fought back against the attackers.
"We believe that they knew the victims and they knew where they were going and what they might find there," Martinez said.
Police say all Gladney and Dewitt got away with was the victims' iPhones, about $500 in cash and video game gear. Both of the men were in jail two weeks before the home invasion on various drug and theft charges.
Money and property for drugs appears to be the motive in this robbery, which then escalated to violence.
"We've been concerned that we didn't know who they were, that they were out still running around and hoping they didn't victimize someone else, but we're glad to have them behind bars now," Martinez said.